When the economic collapse occurred in 2008 corporations had two goals......to stop recovery of the tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud and to get more money----in the form of corporate tax breaks and help from FED policy to expand overseas all the while keeping the US economy stagnant. Neo-liberals and neo-cons gave trillions of dollars in corporate tax breaks and 'stimulus' money that was simply taken overseas and they did nothing to recover those trillions in fraud. So, corporations are richer than ever. Mergers and acquisitions with that money have US corporations merged with corporations from other nations to the point there is no distinguishing a nationality----these are now global corporations with headquarters in the nations that allow the cheapest incorporation and with the least corporate regulation. So US global corporations are now importing goods to the US as corporations that seem to be from other nations. It's confusing, but the point is that US global corporations are now no longer tied to US nationality with all these mergers and acquisitions.
In comes the Trans Pacific Trade Pact written by these global corporations that basically end all national sovereignty for countries signing the treaty including these nation's Constitutions and law enforcement. This included the US. So, a global corporation would be able to come to the US and do business under the terms of the country in which it is incorporated. There goes all labor and justice laws and this includes environmental laws. They would be allowed to operate in the US as they do in China. So, neo-liberals and neo-cons are saying to these global corporations---come to the US and do to America and Americans as you did to the Asian nations as regards labor and environment. Environmental laws will be ignored------labor laws will be ignored if they hinder profits that you would have received in your nation.
This is why leaving the US economy stagnant for these several years was so important.....they wanted US workers to be so desperate for work that all of the labor and justice laws that will be ignored can be sold as simply bringing manufacturing/jobs to a state. This is what Obama is touting as bringing manufacturing jobs back home. He's not telling us they will operate in the US as they did in China----making sweat shops of these factories complete with the environmental devastation.
YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS ARE NOT TELLING YOU THIS EITHER AND THEY KNOW WHAT IS COMING. DO YOU HEAR YOUR INCUMBENT TELLING YOU THIS? IF NOT, THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND WILL MOVE ALL THIS POLICY FORWARD. ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS.
This is the 21st Century or New Economy neo-liberal outlets have termed the final phase of Reagan/Clinton neo-liberalism-----dismantling all structures in the US that keep it from being used by corporations in the same way they operate in any third world nation. That is why we are seeing here in Maryland all of the public justice structures disappear, widespread fraud and corruption without any protection, and why public policy is all done behind closed doors with no involvement of the public----this is what the neo-liberals are committed to doing with our government as a whole.
They say 'you are no longer citizens'.
Manufacturing Is Coming Back. Factory Jobs Aren’t. America is industrializing again, but the days of good jobs for everybody are over.
by Chase B. Hinderstein | June 26, 2014
For public officials looking for the return of well-paying manufacturing jobs to their communities, there's both good and bad news in what's going on with two companies, Foxconn and Tesla.
Last November, Foxconn, which manufactures the majority of Apple devices, announced that it would invest over $100 million in manufacturing capacity in the United States. This investment will include more than $30 million for a robotic facility in Harrisburg, Pa., rather than continuing the expansion of Foxconn factories for Apple in China.
In Fremont, Calif., Tesla is manufacturing electric cars at an old General Motors production facility once known as NUMMI. Between 1985 and its final closing after the Great Recession in 2010, NUMMI kept nearly 5,000 workers employed. Today, the Fremont facility is manufacturing cars again, but with fewer than 2,000 employees and the addition of a great deal of automation.
Both Foxconn/Apple and Tesla reflect the current direction of manufacturing in the United States, toward recovery and a growth rate that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects at 2.8 percent annually. But job creation related to the manufacturing sector's growth is likely to continue to lag.
According to BLS, between 2010 and 2020 total employment in the U.S. will grow by 20.5 million workers, an annual rate of 1.3 percent. But most of these jobs are expected to appear in the services sector; the manufacturing sector is expected to lose jobs over that 10- year period, averaging a decrease of 0.1 percent per year. In short, what we're seeing is a jobless recovery for U.S. manufacturing. Companies will continue to expand, and in some cases, as with Apple, actually return existing capacity back to the U.S., by utilizing automation to replace many low-cost foreign workers.
While we've been hearing about robots taking over our factories for decades, the effect may have been delayed by a combination of union pressure, cheap foreign labor and inadequate technology. But the economic efficiency and aptitudes of robots have been gaining. Today, advanced systems can achieve a higher degree of precision than their human counterparts, even when dealing with delicate tasks. The impact of automation is illustrated most starkly by Foxconn's plans: Where it may have used many thousands of employees in China, in Pennsylvania the company will require only a few dozen.
A good portion of those few dozen will be better compensated and have more lasting job security than the typical laborer. The technology and machinery in today's manufacturing industry, and that of the future, demand a more-educated and better-compensated workforce. But while we are seeing expansion of opportunities for those with the skills to run operations such as Foxconn's and Tesla's, we are not left with a solution for the blue-collar worker.
In short, while most sectors of the nation's economy can be expected to grow, the days of the 20th century that seemed to promise a shot at prosperity for all are over. Today, our children and grandchildren need to be focused on how they're differentiating themselves from the less-skilled workers who have manned our factories for decades and who provide the cheap labor that powers so much of the industry of developing countries. If they do, they'll have a comfortable place in the future.
If you remember this past decade FoxConn made the US news for its constant exposure of horrible labor conditions and making an environmental nightmare for nations involved in manufacturing technology equipment. Lots of toxic materials go into building computers et al. US corporations with factories in these nations turned an eye to the abuse of people and environment because that is why they left the US after all....to avoid all those pesky US labor and justice regulations. This happened because of Bill Clinton and neo-liberals who voted for NAFTA and allowed for such a level of deregulation that US corporations grew fast and moved quickly. Mind you---they knew they would be coming back because the neo-liberal plan included creating in the US the same conditions these US corporations had overseas. This is what Bush and Obama worked to do after Clinton set the public policy allowing this to occur.
As the article above pointed out----these manufacturing corporations are not going to bring jobs----they are going to bring environmental devastation. Think about the citizens of Pennsylvania and fracking....or the citizens of West Virginia and mining. This is third world environmental damage happening right now. So, this FoxConn is being brought to PA no doubt with the neo-liberals and neo-cons shouting JOBS JOBS JOBS......when what they are bringing is third world corporate operations.
THIS IS WHAT THE TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT ALLOWS-----HERE WE HAVE A TAIWANESE CORPORATION COMING TO AMERICA TO BEHAVE JUST AS US CORPORATIONS THAT WENT TO ASIA....WE ARE NOW CORPORATE AMERICA'S DUMPING GROUND AND SWEAT SHOP SAY NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS.
NEO-LIBERALS SAY 'YOU WILL BE TURNING CHINESE'.
Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. It is the world's largest electronics contracter manufacturer, and the third-largest information technology company by revenue.
Foxconn is primarily an original design manufacturer and its clients include major American, European, and Japanese electronics and information technology companies. Notable products that the company manufactures include the BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U.
When Clinton and Congressional neo-liberals voted to break Glass Steagall and deregulate they set the stage for global corporations and global markets. So rich US corporations went to Asia and said----we will send money to create factories and jobs for your citizens. These US fat cats were sold by these Asian governments as 'investing' in countries with stagnant economies. So, US corporations invested in China and the Chinese became sweatshop workers exposed to the worst of conditions. The Chinese people who became the executives of these US corporations overseas and the Chinese political leaders became rich. Meanwhile Wall Street-style stock market created the same kinds of frauds in China as happened here in the US so Chinese people willing to defraud the Chinese citizens like the US bankers did US citizens became rich. In both cases these Chinese people are rich because they often acted illegally or were in charge of very abusive work conditions. I use China, but US corporations expanded all over the world with this abusive manufacturing. Everyone knows of the garment sweatshops for example.
What neo-liberals and neo-cons think is a good idea is to allow those made rich overseas doing just what Americans would not want done here------to come to America and do what they did in China. These Chinese are now being sold as the people having money to invest in America to create jobs----
NEO-LIBERALS ARE SELLING THE FOREIGN RICH AS THE SOLUTION TO STAGNATION JUST AS US CORPORATIONS SOLD THEMSELVES TO THE CHINESE.
We do not need rich foreign investors creating jobs in America. We need each state to rebuild its domestic economy of small and regional businesses owned by US citizens to break free of the economic hold US global corporations have on the US economy. The US economy is only stagnant because US corporations are making it stagnant.
If you look at the data-----the foreign investment and corporations created by this money in the US all involve abusive work conditions and pollution just as these foreign rich oversaw in their own countries. We do not say all of this is bad-----we see that much of it is. With Rule of Law suspended US workers are now treated as if they are in China as is the environment. The Rust belt is a look at where this is going. Remember, we do not need global corporations to have jobs and a healthy economy-----we need domestic businesses that feel a need to be a good citizen in order to compete for market share.
WHY DOES THE RICHEST NATION IN THE WORLD NEED FOREIGN CAPITAL INVESTMENT? IT HAS OFF-SHORED THOSE TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CORPORATE FRAUD TO MAKE THE US POORER THAN IT IS!
How Immigrants with Money Can Help Cities Create More Jobs In the wake of the recession, there's growing interest in a federal program offering visas to immigrants who invest in local economies.
by Kim Zeuli | July 7, 2014
New York, San Francisco and other traditional immigrant destination cities have long understood that while immigrants seek out American cities as proverbial lands of opportunity, these newcomers also drive economic growth. A recent influx of immigrants is also helping to stabilize declining older industrial cities such as Detroit. Cleveland, Syracuse and Toledo that have been losing residents for decades. As smaller cities across the U.S. are realizing this potential economic impact, many are enacting local initiatives to help draw more immigrants to their communities.
The federal EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is another tool cities could use to attract immigrants. With support from the Surdna, Garfield and Boston foundations, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has spent the past year analyzing the EB-5 program and its potential to create economic opportunity in urban areas. Our research identified 178 EB-5 projects across the United States, including many in the Rust Belt.
The federal government established the EB-5 program in 1990 to improve economic conditions, especially in high-poverty and high-unemployment areas, by attracting foreign capital to support investments that create local jobs. The EB-5 program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Each year, the State Department is authorized to allocate 10,000 conditional permanent-residency visas to eligible EB-5 foreign investors. Since its inception, EB-5 has attracted investors from numerous countries, but it is increasingly dominated by investors from China. In 2013, over 80 percent of EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals.
An EB-5 participant must make a significant investment in a business that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. The minimum investment requirement for EB-5 is set at $1 million, or $500,000 if the business is located in a targeted employment area (a rural area or one with an unemployment rate of at least 150 percent of the national average).
Interest in EB-5 as a local economic-development tool was relatively limited until the recent recession and subsequent contraction of more-traditional sources of capital, but that interest has skyrocketed since then. Last year the government received more than 6,300 applications for the EB-5 program, compared to 255 in 2002.
Today, there are approximately 440 EB-5 regional centers operating across the country. Every regional center is required to define the geography that it plans to serve. A regional center's approved area of operation can span across state borders, and our analysis found that 60 of them operate in more than one state. Every state has at least one regional center, and more than 110 operate within Rust Belt states.
The Milwaukee Regional Center is one of the oldest active ones. Established in 2007 and administered by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, it has used EB-5 investments to fund 17 projects. FirstPathway Partners is one of several organizations that develop EB-5 projects through the Milwaukee center. FirstPathway has raised over $120 million in EB5 funds and has a few projects underway, including an innovative Global Water Center supporting Milwaukee's competitive advantage as a leader in freshwater research and technology. This building currently houses 25 water-related organizations, including academic programs, multinational corporations and startup businesses.
Although less common, entrepreneurs also use EB-5 direct investments to grow new businesses. In Indianapolis, for example, E3 Investment Group has created E3 Cargo Trucking. Each investor puts $500,000 into the partnership, which finances the purchase and operation of trucks. To date the company has attracted six investors from China, Japan and Vietnam. Develop Indy, a unit within the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, helped to identify an appropriate location for the company's initial site and Marion County's local workforce development organization will help identify local employees and provide workforce training if needed.
No one would suggest that the EB-5 program doesn't have its limitations. It has suffered from a few high-profile cases of fraud, and it is bureaucratically complex: Projects that use EB-5 funding can take many months or even years to gain approval from the federal government. And since it is capped at 10,000 visas per year, it is also a relatively small program in terms of attracting immigrants. Even with those limitations, however, EB-5 clearly has the potential to support economic development in and attract immigrant investors to cities looking for another way to grow jobs.
VOICES is curated by the Governing Institute, which seeks out practitioners and observers whose perspective and insight add to the public conversation about state and local government. For more information or to submit an article to be considered for publication, please contact editor John Martin.
This is a prime example of what ends up happening when immigration laws meet global corporations in the US. Global corporations set up shop in the US and start by exploiting immigrants brought to the US but as we see in other articles-----US global corporations then extend that exploitation to US workers. These neo-liberal policies for 'job creation' are all based upon maximizing profit for US corporations. It has nothing to do with job creating or building a healthy economy.
IT DOES THE OPPOSITE.
This is the kind of environment created from foreign investors. Maryland is ground zero for these practices and it always expands to US workers.
AN INJUSTICE FOR ONE WILL BECOME INJUSTICE FOR ALL!
America's High-Tech Sweatshops
By Moira Herbst and Steve Hamm October 01, 2009
Vimal Patel was studying for a master's in business administration in London when he saw an advertisement for work in the U.S. The ad offered a job in the tech industry, as well as sponsorship for the kind of work visa that allows foreign nationals to take professional-level jobs in the country. So Patel applied and paid his prospective employer, Cygate Software & Consulting, in Edison, N.J., thousands of dollars in up-front fees. But when Patel arrived, Cygate had no tech job for him. He ended up working at a gas station, and Cygate nevertheless took a chunk of his wages for years, according to documents in a criminal case against Cygate.
After a federal investigation into Cygate, Patel and five other natives of India recruited by the company pled guilty to visa violations in June. They were sentenced to 12 to 18 months of probation, assessed fines of $2,000 each, and now face deportation. But at Patel's sentencing in the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., his lawyer said the slim 36-year-old, with a mop of brown hair spilling over his forehead, was more victim than villain. Like many ambitious workers from abroad, he came to the country seeking his fortune, and he suffered for the effort. "It's a sad day," said Anthony Thomas, the public defender assigned to represent Patel. "He always dreamed of coming to the U.S."
Cygate, which changed its name to Sterling System after the lawsuit, is one of thousands of low-profile companies that have come to play a central role in the U.S. tech industry in recent years. These companies, many with just 10 to 50 employees, recruit workers from abroad and, when possible, place them at U.S. corporations to provide tech support, software programming, and other services. While many outfits operate legally and provide high-quality talent, there is growing evidence that others violate U.S. laws and mistreat their recruits.
Several types of fraud have become common, according to documents from recent lawsuits and interviews with foreign workers, employers, lawyers, and consultants. In some cases companies target young men and women hungry to get well-paid tech jobs in the U.S. and charge them exorbitant fees for visas, which is not allowed under American immigration laws. Even after paying, some workers never get a visa; those who do may find the company they paid has no job for them, as Patel did. This violates U.S. law because companies are supposed to have an open position before they apply for a work visa.
Workers who land tech jobs may face other kinds of trouble. Some companies place foreign workers at client sites and then siphon off part of their pay or charge ongoing fees, which violates U.S. law. Many workers allege they're not paid in between jobs at client sites, though such "benching" without pay isn't allowed either. In other cases, companies claim they're employing people in low-salary regions when they're actually working in high-wage areas, in violation of rules requiring payment of the region's prevailing wage.
Sterling President Nilesh Dasondi was charged with multiple counts of visa violations in the case filed by the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. The government says he collected fees of up to $15,000 from the six workers, left them to find jobs on their own, and extracted more fees to launder their pay through his company. The workers acquiesced because Dasondi, like all employers of visa recipients, held their visa documents and could have revoked the papers if they objected. "This is a microcosm of a big issue that's facing our country—visa fraud," said Sandra L. Moser, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case in an interview after Patel's sentencing.
Dasondi greeted a reporter at the doorway to his offices in Edison one summer day. From a glass door on the parking lot side of a beige one-story building, he led the way through a warren of cramped rooms, with half a dozen people pecking away at computer keyboards. "My life is such a mess right now," he confided once he was seated in a small conference room. He wouldn't discuss details of the cases against him or Patel, but he promised to talk after it is resolved. Dasondi's lawyer, Eric R. Breslin, says his client "has been an asset to his community" and that Sterling "performs legitimate services for its customers."
"BODY SHOPS"Tech service outfits such as Sterling have thrived in recent years because of shifts in the U.S. economy. As cost-cutting pressures have increased, companies turned over management of tech systems and other back-office operations to outsourcing firms, including many that bring workers from India and other countries into the U.S. on temporary visas such as the H-1B.
One important way outsourcers hold down costs is by keeping a lean workforce at each client site—then turning to smaller companies, such as Sterling, when they need to increase staff for specific projects, such as installing new software or building a new Web site. These companies are known as "body shops" because of their role, and often rely heavily on foreign workers who come into the country on H-1Bs and other visas. "This is where a lot of the shenanigans take place," says Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology who has written extensively on work visas. A study by the federal government last year estimated that 54% of visa rule violations were committed by companies with fewer than 25 employees.
U.S. companies usually don't know—and don't press to find out—which body shops are tapped to support their tech operations. The result is that prominent American companies can easily end up doing business with tech service outfits that violate visa laws. Breslin wouldn't identify specific Sterling clients, but he says they include "significant companies." Dasondi named Computer Sciences (CSC) as one customer in a 2006 lawsuit: Dasondi wanted the technology giant to pay him for hiring away one of his employees. Computer Sciences would not comment on the case beyond saying it had been settled. In recent months workers have alleged mistreatment while working for body shops in the offices of Qualcomm (QCOMM) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). In a civil suit filed in May and a complaint to the U.S. Labor Dept., Prasad Nair charged that Unified Business Technologies got him an H-1B visa in 2007 by saying he would work in the company's Troy (Mich.) offices and receive $60,000 a year as a programmer and analyst. Instead, UBT sent him to work at chipmaker Qualcomm's offices in San Diego, where the cost of living and prevailing wage for such a position are much higher. The 32-year-old alleged UBT made unlawful pay deductions, delayed payments, failed to pay overtime, and postponed health benefits for his family. David Blanchard, Nair's attorney, says he struggled "paycheck to paycheck" to take care of his wife and 9-month-old daughter and regularly ate at Burger King to save money.
AN OPAQUE SYSTEMUBT's lawyer, John G. Coutilish, says Nair's charges are "baseless." Coutilish says UBT agreed to make a "nuisance" payment of $2,500 to end the civil suit, though the Labor Dept. investigation is continuing. UBT has filed its own suit against Nair alleging he quit without giving proper notice and defamed the company with his accusations. Qualcomm declined to comment on the case, but a spokeswoman says the company requires vendors it works with to "explicitly acknowledge that they must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including employment and immigration laws."
In another complaint to the Labor Dept., Benly Ebenezer alleges he was underpaid or not paid at all while working in the Manhattan offices of JPMorgan. In the complaint, Ebenezer, who has two master's degrees in computer science, was brought to the U.S. on an H-1B visa by Itek Consulting in 2005. Ebenezer says Itek paid him about 10% less than the promised $50,000 a year while he worked at the bank, and then stopped paying him altogether between December 2006 and February 2007. The Labor Dept. ruled in Ebenezer's favor in May. He declined to be interviewed because his situation remains "sensitive."
The phone number for Itek is now disconnected. JPMorgan declined to comment on the case.
U.S. executives often have little visibility into the treatment of contract employees because several layers of companies are involved. One recruiter for a major U.S. outsourcing firm says there's no way his clients know how body shop workers are treated because, until recently, even he didn't know. He discovered that some of the firms he was hiring for short-term projects weren't using their own people but instead bringing in subcontractors, which often underpaid workers. He just put in place new policies so he knows when a firm he hires is using a subcontractor, but he still can't find out how much workers are paid or in which state they're supposed to be working. "We don't like it," he says. "The agreements seem almost criminal."
RIT professor Hira says the situation is similar to what happened years ago when Western companies began using sweatshops in China for manufacturing. Companies such as Nike (NKE) sought to lower costs by using overseas manufacturers, which in turn squeezed workers with low pay and poor working conditions. After a public outcry, Nike, Disney (DIS), and others started to monitor labor standards abroad. American companies may know little about the tech contractors who work for them in the U.S. now, but Hira says companies should take steps to track the situation more closely. "I don't know of any [top executives] who have made an issue of this," he says. "We haven't had a public discussion of what the clients' responsibility is."
MOVING AGAINST CORRUPTIONWhile American companies may overlook the treatment of contract workers in their midst, the workers are vulnerable because of government policies. When a foreign worker comes into the country on an H-1B visa, the visa is held by the employer, not the worker. If an employee complains, the company can terminate its visa sponsorship, forcing the worker to leave the U.S. Workers can't shift jobs unless they find another sponsor, which can be difficult. And while workers can gain their freedom with permanent citizenship, the wait even for high-skilled visa holders can be 5 to 10 years. "Many of these people don't know their rights," says Michael F. Brown, an attorney in Appleton, Wis., who handles immigration cases. "They're essentially captives." Most of the discussion of U.S. work visas in recent years has focused on the effect of visas, when used legally, on the American workforce. Some U.S. tech workers contend that bringing in foreign workers drives down their salaries and makes it easier to move jobs overseas. Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have introduced a bill to overhaul the visa program aimed at protecting U.S. workers. But they also want to boost enforcement to combat the mistreatment of foreign visa holders. "We want to stop corruption of [all types in] the [H-1B] program," Grassley said in an interview.
Body shops have sprung up around major metropolitan areas to be close to their clients. One cluster is in northern New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Hundreds of small tech services firms operate in such towns as Belleville, West Windsor, and Edison, where Sterling is headquartered.
At times, the region feels like a front in the battle between foreign and domestic workers. U.S. tech workers in the area have lost thousands of jobs in recent years with the decline of AT&T (T) and Lucent Technologies, and many blame outsourcing firms for taking the remaining well-paid jobs in finance and other sectors. Tech services companies say they're simply responding to clients' needs and are being blamed unfairly for any loss of jobs. In this heated debate, cases of visa abuse, like those alleged against Sterling, have fueled passions on both sides.
John Miano, a 45-year-old software programmer and labor rights attorney, waits for a reporter in a booth in the Summit Diner, a classic mid-20th century eatery in tony Summit, N.J. Miano is the founder of the Programmers' Guild, an association of U.S. software programmers. Over cheeseburgers, he argues that the work visa program is hurting demand for American workers. "The job situation for American tech workers in this area is horrible," he says. "The consulting market has been wiped out. Now it's mostly Indian-owned companies, and they're looking for people with H-1B visas."
He says the rise of body shops has made the situation worse: The companies are usually so small they're overlooked by regulators and law enforcement, so they can squeeze foreign workers and put Americans at even more of a disadvantage. Miano clutches a list of companies in the Summit area that have applied for H-1B visas. They are all over the place—some tucked away in offices on the second or third floors of buildings; one filling the entire first floor of a white-columned brick building on a side street; two of them just mailboxes in a UPS (UPS) Store. Venkateshwara Computers, in a modest home in nearby Livingston, put in for two programmers. Ajay Pimpariya, the owner, complains that his visa applications weren't approved because he followed the rules, while other companies falsify documents. "If Homeland Security wants to take the information," he says, "I'll tell them who's doing what."
Immigration authorities acknowledge that one reason it's difficult to stop visa abuses is that checking on so many small companies is labor intensive. "The cases are difficult to investigate and difficult to prove," says James Spero, who heads Immigration & Customs Enforcement's fraud unit.
The Dasondi case illustrates how the visa system ties into a human supply chain that reaches halfway around the world. According to court documents, the New Jersey businessman recruited workers in Britain and India. In October 2001, he arranged through an intermediary to meet with Kishor Parikh, a mechanical engineer in the western Indian city of Ahmadabad. Dasondi allegedly instructed him to buy a fake university degree and coached him on how to lie to interviewers in the U.S. Consulate. Parikh allegedly paid $9,000 to Dasondi for sponsoring his H-1B application.
When Parikh arrived in the U.S., he learned that Dasondi didn't have a job for him. Instead, Parikh found work at a greeting card shop. He lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment with his wife, parents, and two children, according to his lawyer, John McDonald. Parikh sent Dasondi about $4,000 per month in money orders, which Dasondi ran through his payroll system as if the money came from a corporate client to pay for Parikh's services, according to court records. The payment scheme, which made it look like Parikh was a legitimate tech worker, is a common strategy called "running the payroll."
"WE WERE LIKE PRISONERS"A tech service firm called Vision Systems Group has been charged, in a criminal suit filed in February, with taking another approach to visa fraud. Under federal law, companies that apply for work visas need to pay the prevailing wage for a specific occupation in a particular region. The rule is aimed at preventing employers from reducing their costs by hiring foreign workers to replace Americans.
Federal prosecutors say Vision Systems, based in New Jersey, set up an office in low-wage Coon Rapids, Iowa, and claimed that up to 25 immigrant employees worked there between August 2003 and December 2008, when they actually worked in higher-wage regions. That would allow Vision Systems to pay a visa holder the prevailing wage of $20.05 per hour in Coon Rapids for an entry-level computer specialist instead of $30.43 at its headquarters in New Jersey. Vision Systems CEO Viswa Mandalapu could not be reached for comment.
Vision Systems identifies JPMorgan Chase and insurance giant Cigna (CI) as two of its clients on the reference site Hoovers.com. Both companies declined to comment.
When Akhil Gupta heard about the Vision Systems bust, he celebrated. The Mumbai native who now lives in London had paid the company nearly $3,000 in 2006 for an H-1B visa that never came through. "Vision Systems exploited my dreams," he says. "All I see is a huge amount of money and time lost."
Even workers who land jobs in the U.S. can end up on the bench, without a paycheck for weeks or months. Rajiv Dabhadkar, an Indian who was assigned to such companies as AT&T and Merrill Lynch on guest worker visas, recalls that when a staffing company replaced him with a new visa holder from India, he was so short of cash he couldn't pay the electric bill for his Belleville apartment. He and his wife and their 5-year-old daughter had to wear coats indoors for a few days in the winter. Ultimately, he says, his wife returned to India and filed for divorce. "I am a survivor and a witness," says Dabhadkar, who now lives outside Mumbai and runs the National Organization for Software & Technology Professionals, which publicizes abuses of guest workers.
One Brazilian worker originally came to the U.S. as a college student but was unable to find work when he graduated. Desperate to stay in the country, he took a job with a body shop in New Jersey that promised to sponsor his visa application, train him, and place him in an IT position in a corporation.
Things didn't work out as he had hoped. The company put him up in a two-bedroom apartment in West Windsor that he shared with half a dozen other trainees. It was so cramped he slept in the closet, with his feet sticking out the door. Not a fan of the curries favored by his roommates, he ate his meals at a nearby Subway sandwich shop. At the office, he studied hard in his training courses but was taken aback when the managers instructed him to write up a résumé full of false claims about his skills and work experience. He ended up working for $800 a month. "We were like prisoners," says the man, who would not let his name be used because he is in the country illegally. He ultimately quit and got a tech job in another state.
Foreign workers aren't waiting for American companies or the U.S. government to address the issue of high-tech sweatshops. They've set up Web sites to discuss their experiences with different companies. On sites such as Desi Crunch and Goolti, they talk anonymously and steer one another away from the worst employers. On Desi Crunch, one writer marvels that a company can still attract any potential employees. The worker compares the firm to "an H-1B prison camp" and says, "trust nothing they say or write."
Business Exchange: Read, save, and add content on BW's new Web 2.0 topic networkGuest Worker RightsPeople who come to the U.S. on work visas include many engineers and computer scientists, often with advanced degrees, but they frequently do not know their rights as employees. Immigration Voice, an advocacy group for foreign workers, has set up a Web site that spells out which visa fees an employer is supposed to pay, what to do if wages aren't paid on time, and how to report problems.
Raise your hand if you understand that someone enriched in a nation overseas would bring the same conditions to the US to earn profit------IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST. We see it already in Maryland. So, an economic policy that centers on filling the US with global corporations. AT A TIME WHEN OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY IS DISMANTLED---
IT IS A VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY BAD ECONOMIC POLICY -----THAT'S A NEO-LIBERAL AND NEO-CON FOR YOU----
Taylor Leake Online organizer and activist blogger
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Sweatshops in America Posted: 10/04/11 11:07 PM ET Huf
Recently the Morning Call, a local newspaper serving Allentown, PA and the surrounding area, spoke with 20 employees of Amazon.com's massive Breinigsville, PA packing and shipping facility. The warehouse is important because it is located within a days drive from a third of the U.S. and Canadian population. It is how Amazon.com can deliver goods so quickly to a huge chunk of the country. The stories the Morning Call heard and published are pretty disturbing. This warehouse is, quite literally, a sweatshop. You see, the warehouse isn't cooled in the summer. Over the last several months, temperatures soared over 110 degrees inside the facility.
Elmer Goris was one of the employees who spoke with the Morning Call. He recently quit after a year working at the Amazon warehouse. He described blistering heat, fellow employees passing out, and, to add insult to dangerous heat rash, poor treatment from management. After more than 10 years working at warehouses, Goris sums up his experience with Amazon: "I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one." Another employee said it was like "working in a convection oven while blow-drying your hair."
To make matters worse, workers reported a culture that used fear of being fired to push them to work ever faster. Employees say they were reprimanded and threatened frequently for failing to meet unreasonable work loads. It was common to see fellow employees being fired and escorted from the facility. In such a terrible economy, workers said they pushed themselves extremely hard for fear of losing their jobs. It was a recipe for heat related injuries.
What is truly outrageous about this story is that Amazon.com knew what a dangerous recipe this was. Instead of fixing the temperature in the warehouse, they arranged to have an ambulance sit outside to treat anyone who fell ill. An emergency room doctor reported the warehouse to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after treating a number of workers.
This would be unacceptable anywhere, but it is unfathomable in 21st century America. There is currently a petition on change.org demanding that Amazon.com end these sweatshops conditions at its Breinigsville, PA warehouse immediately. Please take a minute to sign it.